Wales Leads the Way

Pembrey Sands in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Paul Quayle/Alamy

Wales Leads the Way

In an effort to become the world’s top recycling nation, Wales proposes a ban on single-use plastics

The story of plastic can be traced back to 1907, but this one-time wonder material is falling out of favour fast.

The Guardian reports today that Wales is set to ban single-use plastics from 2021 as it seeks to lead the league tables as the world’s top recycling nation.

The proposed ban includes:

  • Straws
  • Cutlery
  • Polystyrene food and drink containers
  • Stirrers
  • Cotton buds
  • Balloon sticks
  • Plates
  • Carrier bags made from oxo-degradable plastic
Plastic is among the waste washed up on a beach at Pembrey Sands in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Photograph: Paul Quayle/Alamy
Pembrey Sands in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Paul Quayle/Alamy

Hannah Blythyn, Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government said:

‘The single-use plastics we want to ban are hard to recycle and often found on the beaches and seas around our coast, blighting our beautiful country and harming our natural marine environments.

It is vital we don’t throw away our future – which is why we believe taking this direct action will have a significant impact on changing people’s behaviour and make them think about their waste when ‘on-the-go’.

The measures I am announcing today are part of a range of potential solutions to the plastic problem. I am committed to working with stakeholders to understand the impact of this proposal, particularly on any citizens who may be reliant on some of the items we have included, to make sure we get it right.

We’ll be launching a consultation on the proposals soon, and I want to encourage the people of Wales to share their views with us.’